Oral motor skills include strength, coordination, awareness, and movement of the tongue, jaw, cheeks, and lips. An oral motor dysfunction is defined by Allina Health as the inability to use the mouth effectively for speaking, eating, chewing, swallowing, or making specific sounds.
This kind of disorder is caused by a malfunction where the brain attempts to send signals or messages to mouth muscles, but the muscles do not receive or interpret the signals properly. This results in the muscles either freezing up or moving incorrectly. Another cause of this disorder is the low muscle tone of the tongue, lips, or jaw.
A Therapy Care therapist can properly assess your child’s condition to determine if they have an oral motor dysfunction.
How can Therapy Care help my child?
If your child does have an oral motor dysfunction, therapy can address it directly.
Therapy Care in Batavia’s therapists will be able not only to assess your child’s condition, but also to improve their ability to speak, eat, and swallow properly.
Some examples of common oral motor disorder are “dysphagia,” which presents itself as trouble with swallowing, or “dysarthria,” which causes slurred speech.
There are multiple signs of oral motor dysfunction issues than can present themselves in children, including:
Holding their mouths open
Having trouble using drinking straws
Inability to stick out their tongue or move it around
Difficulty making or imitating sounds and oral movements
Messy eating habits
We encourage your child to improve these skills in a warm, fun, inviting environment by helping them to strengthen weak oral muscles of their lips, tongue, and jaw. Exercises may include activities such as blowing bubbles, using straws, whistling, or moving oral muscles by making silly faces.
A speech therapist can help determine why your child is having trouble with feeding, speaking, or swallowing, as well as create a treatment plan that will teach them how to eat, drink, and communicate without restrictions.
Ready to get started?
Therapy Care in Batavia pediatric speech therapists help children establish their speech and language skills for effective eating, drinking, and communication. If you believe your child is not meeting the proper milestones in regards to their speech or language skills, call us today.
Few things are worse than having constant pain in your neck, back, or joints in the morning. Even the easiest things, such as get out of bed or putting on your shoes, can be difficult for those struggling with morning aches and pains.
Did you know you can improve the function of these parts of your body in the morning with the aid of a physical therapist? Physical therapists can provide you with exercises and stretches to alleviate pain and discomfort. They also help recover the normal range of movement and reduce pain and inflammation.
To learn more about how a physical therapist can help you achieve the positive start you’re looking for in the morning, keep reading! If you’re dealing with aches and pains, contact Therapy Care to schedule a consultation ASAP.
The importance of stretching
Stretching is an important part of one’s daily routine, whether you’re exercising or not. Modern-day life involves a lot of sitting down, from our jobs to our hobbies. Over time, this can lead to tightness and shortening of muscles in areas of the body like the hip flexors, shoulders, chest, and ankles.
Stretching increases your blood circulation. Muscles require sufficient oxygen and nutrients in order to perform well. Stretching ramps up blood flow and transports oxygen and nutrients.
Performing daily stretches also heightens your energy levels due to the increased circulation it brings. Learning to stretch properly will lead you to a more active lifestyle. In fact, according to results of a new systematic review, moderate-grade evidence seems to support strengthening and stretching exercises to help ease chronic neck pain.”
Top 3 stretches to feel better in the morning
Stretching isn’t only for warming up or cooling down when you’re working out at the gym. The purpose of stretching is to get your body feeling limbered up and flexible. If you go about your whole day feeling stiff, of course you’re going to feel achy and awful when you wake up!
By committing to a few simple morning stretches each day, you can help to keep your body feeling limber and reduce pain in between your regular physical therapy appointments. Some of the best stretches to use early in your day include:
Low Back Stretch
Are you dealing with recurring low back pain in the mornings? Then this simple physical therapy stretch can provide you with a great deal of relief.
Start by laying down on your back, bending your knees, and keeping your feet flat on the floor.
Use both hands to pull up one knee towards your chest, while keeping the other foot flat on the floor.
Next, bring your active leg back to the starting position and repeat the stretch with the opposite leg. Keeping the other foot flat on the floor. Lastly, bring both knees to your chest at once. Hold each position for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat stretch at least 3 times.
If you suffer from arthritis in the knees or low back pain, this is a great stretch to complete before beginning your day.
Child’s pose is a very popular move in yoga routines. It is a great stretch for connective tissue and joint pain as well!
Start the pose by kneeling in bed, then sitting back so that your bottom is resting comfortably on your heels. Next, gently bend your body forward until your head touches the mattress.
It can be helpful to then stretch your arms out and fold them in front of your face for additional support. Once you’ve eased into the position, you can then reach your arms out forward to help open the connective tissues in your neck, shoulders, and back area.
Hold the pose for at least 2 minutes and repeat if necessary.
The Inchworm is another physical therapy stretch that is great for relieving joint pain and improving circulation in the mornings.
Start by standing with your abs engaged. Slowly roll down, bending at the knee if necessary, and touch the floor. Walk your hands forward, until you are in the push-up position. Then walk your feet forward, inch-by-inch, until you reach the back of your hands. Slowly roll your body back up into a standing position. Repeat the stretch at least 5 times, with your core engaged each time.
Physical therapy can change the way you look at mornings…
If you struggle with aches and pain every morning, there’s no doubt you aren’t enjoying the beginnings of your days. You deserve to wake up feeling good and refreshed. If you’re dealing with pain, you should speak with our physical therapist sooner rather than later about creating a personalized treatment plan. There’s no reason to start your day off in pain and suffering through feelings of discomfort!
Are you interested in learning more about the many benefits of physical therapy for pain management? Contact Therapy Care for more information and be sure to schedule an initial consultation with our friendly and experienced physical therapist today.